Creating the Pinup Look

Makeup and Hair
The pinup model had an iconic look. Hair colour (natural or artificial) was typically a primary red, black, brown, or blond as a solid colour and maintained as a solid colour (no tints or shades). A good example is Image 1 (below), showing a vibrant red as a solid colour. It was invariably curled so models should either go for the curl or find an appropriate wig.
1. Alberto Vargas
Makeup was bright, heavy, but smooth. Go for bright primary colours. It is recommended that for the best skin tone to match the period apply cold cream nightly for the week before the shoot.

Eyebrows were sharp and arched (as shown in ). A trick is to apply hairspray to a brush and run it through the eyebrows to keep the hairs in place.
2. George Petty
Eye makeup was dark to accentuate the eyes. One approach is to start with applying a vanilla-coloured eye shadow to the upper eyelid, then contour with a neutral colour, blending into the base. Add black eye liner, adding "flicks" at the outer corners of the eyes (what is sometimes called The Cat Eye), then finish with mascara.
3. George Petty
For the lips, start with a red pencil to outline the lips, as illustrated in Image 4 (below), then fill in with red lipstick of the same colour as the pencil. 
4. Alberto Vargas
There are several good sites on the Internet explaining how to achieve this look:

- Pinup Passion has a section on achieving the Pinup Girl look at
- WkiHow has several articles on how to do a Pinup-style makeup. One link is

Pinup Expressions
When in the shoot, there are a few iconic facial expressions. Most pinup images will feature big, natural-looking smiles. Come to the shoot prepared to be silly, laugh, and general enjoy yourself, which will result in the most natural-looking smiles. 

Before the shoot, take some time to practice saying the vowels A, E, I, O and U in the mirror. Exaggerate the face you make while making these sounds. Practice nightly leading up to the shoot. If you are doing the recommended week of cold cream, you can do your facial expressions then. Adjust the expressions until they give you the most flattering look. 

Image 1 shows the classic "O" or "U" face. Facebook users may see similarities to the dreaded "duckface" expression, but there is a difference between them. The "duckface" expression is generated by pursing the lips together; in the pinup "O" the lips don't quite come together. If it is done right then you should be able to clearly say "Ohhh!", otherwise it is a "duckface". A trick, if you don"t want to keep saying "Ohh!" is to just blow some air through your lips as you make the expression.

Other poses, particularly those involving "accidents" may require over-the-top expressions of shock, surprise, sulkiness, or embarrassment. Try the expressions in the mirror before the shoot. 

Find out what kind of Pinup you are, be it silly, sexy, playful, whatever. Create your personna and come to the shoot ready to become your inner Pinup Girl. Feel free to throw in a wink at the camera, blow a kiss, and generally play to the person who will be looking at your images. Pinup is about playing to the viewer, creating a connection in which they are part of the fun you are having. Invite them in.

Online references
- The site Pinup Passion has a wonderful brief introduction to pinup posing at

- Pin Curl Magazine has a create article on preparing and posing for Pinup photoshoot at

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